Hurunui music festival launches environmental project

On Sunday 26 May, “Vision and Pines”, a music festival to be held at Balmoral Reserve camping ground, will start a conservation project led by Hurunui young people.

Hurunui youth will celebrate the opening of a restoration and conservation site. Work at the site will be youth led and supported by Hurunui Youth workers, Hurunui District Council, local environmental education staff, the Department of Conservation, Environment Canterbury and local Iwi.

Marco Cataloni, Northern Zone Delivery Lead for Environment Canterbury, said it’s exciting to see the youth of the district on board with these types of projects.

“We look forward to having more involvement with them - it will be a great opportunity to network and work with young people on environmental restoration.”

Vision and Pines will feature live music, an outdoor movie, workshops, food trucks, speakers and a ‘BioBlitz’. It will also showcase the Youth Restoration site adjacent to the camping ground.

Hurunui Youth Kaitiakitanga Project logoAbout the Hurunui Youth Kaitiakitanga Project

The site is part of a wider conservation project made possible by Ministry of Youth Development funding supporting youth leadership, mentoring, volunteering and wellbeing.

The Hurunui Youth Kaitiakitanga Project is dedicated to youth interested in conservation and environmental issues.

Connecting with the local environment

The site will provide a physical place to connect to the local environment and learn the skills needed to protect it.

It will deliver hands-on conservation training, youth environmental networking and site visits to areas and projects of interest.

The Youth Restoration site was assigned to the care of Hurunui young people by Hurunui District Council Manager of Regulatory Services Judith Batchelor.

“The youth will be undertaking restoration work within a 3-hectare block in Balmoral, part of Morrisons Road Stock Resting Reserve,” she said.

“We are supporting our young people in their aspirations and plans for this space, which is Council owned and currently vacant.”

Luke, Zoe & MacKenzie - picnic at Balmoral pinesHurunui youth getting involved

Any local young person is welcome to get involved.

Luke Roberts, a Year 13 student at Amuri Area School and a Hurunui Youth Councillor said Vision and Pines is about having something everyone can come along to and experience themselves. “With the music, workshops and games, it will be showcasing the different ways we can use this space,” he said.

“I think everyone just likes the idea of restoring it back to what it was… restoring the land with native plants. “I feel like I would use the space in the summer, to have a bunch of friends go down and be near the water. It’s a beautiful place to hang out.”

Restoring the land

Tessa Allan, Year 13 student at Hurunui College and a Hurunui Youth Councillor, said the Youth Council held events to get perspective on what youth like about the Hurunui and what they wish to change. “They told us youth really care about our environment and want a local spot to connect with, protect and hang out at,” she said.

“As youth, we are taking responsibility for this space and looking after it. It is going to give us a space to show the little changes we make can have a big impact.”

Little changes, making a big impact

Zoe Watson, a Year 13 student at Hurunui College and Environmental Leader of the Hurunui Youth Council, said the Hurunui Youth Kaitiakitanga Project group “allows young people in the Hurunui to engage in environmental projects that are sustainable and effective for the future – like the restoration site on the Hurunui River. 

It also allows those young people to express their interest and passion for the environment in a practical way,” she said.

Find out more about the Vision and Pines event